A lot of people talk about what it takes to create jobs. Here in Atlanta, we’re actually doing it. A recent study by Arizona State University found that Atlanta ranks number 2 in the nation for job growth among major metropolitan areas, following Houston by less than 1 percentage point.
In 2009, I promised to invest in the Atlanta Police Department and achieve the goal of reaching a police force of 2,000 sworn officers during his first term. Already, the city has more than 1,940 sworn officers who protect the citizens of Atlanta. Last year alone, the department welcomed more than 175 new police officers. The City of Atlanta also is proud to have one of the most comprehensive police training programs in the state of Georgia. Today, this investment is paying dividends.
During my first term, we successfully initiated a series of sweeping reforms to address the city’s crippling $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability; Increased the city’s reserves from $7.6 million to more than $126 million in 3 years; Improved the city’s bond rating; and Balanced the city’s budget by reducing waste and making critical investments in city services without raising property taxes.
As Mayor, As Mayor, I aggressively pursued federal funding for the Atlanta Streetcar project; Continued development and expansion of the Atlanta Beltline; and opened the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal among other critical improvements to transportation in and around the City of Atlanta.
The successes we’ve had in Atlanta have been the outcome of my willingness to build relationships and work with local, state and federal leaders across partisan lines on economic development issues. I have always envisioned metropolitan Atlanta as the logistics hub of the Western Hemisphere, and by championing regional and state initiatives, such as the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project we have been able to translate that vision into a reality.